Chaco War (1932-1935)

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The Chaco War (1932-1935), between Paraguay and Bolivia, was the outgrowth of a boundary dispute in the northern part of the Gran Chaco. From 1870 both countries claimed the same territory, Paraguay to the Parapiti River and Bolivia to the Paraguay River. Repeated boundary treaties did not provide a permanent solution. Increasing skirmishes along the border finally led to the three-year war and to the eventual victory of the Paraguayan army. In the Peace of Buenos Aires (1938), Paraguay received by far the largest portion of the Chaco.

The immigration of the Mennonites to this area played a considerable role in the conflict. The establishing of Menno Colony (1927) and Fernheim Colony (1930) strengthened the Paraguayan claim to this territory and added considerably to its potential value. The Mennonite immigration was protested by Bolivia at the League of Nations. Initially the Mennonite colonies were in a no-man's-land between the opposing armies, but the battles soon came much nearer. The colonies played a considerable role as supply centers for the Paraguayan army.


Zook, David. "The Conduct of the Chaco War." 1962

Klassen, Peter P. Kaputi Mennonita. Asunción, 1976.

Estigarribia, José Félix. The Epic of the Chaco: Marshal Estigarribia's Memoirs of the Chaco War, 1932-1935. Austin: U. of Texas Press, 1950; originally published in 3 volumes in Spanish.

Author(s) Peter P Klassen
Date Published 1987

Cite This Article

MLA style

Klassen, Peter P. "Chaco War (1932-1935)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 1 Oct 2023.

APA style

Klassen, Peter P. (1987). Chaco War (1932-1935). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 1 October 2023, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 133. All rights reserved.

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